Family Seats

by kfrego

Our family would go to local events at the county fairgrounds in Canton during the summer when the weather was warm. One of the events we attended were auto races. They were held on the same track used for horse racing during the county fairs. Admission was charged per car. Cars were able to park within about thirty feet of the flat track on the backstretch and corners. It was play time for all the children until the races started. Mom and Dad would perch on the front fenders to watch the races. Children old enough to get on the roof would get upper seats. Smaller children were delegated to the hood or close proximity to our parents. These races were a family adventure for young children. The people, sitting on the cars, and watching the races at night was a special family event.

The only barrier on the track was the railing installed for horse races. No such thing as guard rails or barriers designed for automobiles. The track surface was the same for automobiles as it was for the horse races. People were not allowed to stand at the railing when racing was in progress. The race cars were true low budget stock cars.

We witnessed a very bad accident at one of these races. An out of control race car tumbled through the railing and hit a car about four cars away from where we were parked. The car which got hit had a family sitting on it. People went flying into the air in all directions. Dirt and grass were flying everywhere. After the impact people were screaming and crying. We were too young to realize the tragedy we had just witnessed. We knew it was bad, but associated our fear more with the panic, screams, and crying rather than injuries. My recollection of this incident is very small compared to the recollection of the happy family times spent at similar events while growing up.

The racing was exciting……but not near as exciting as sitting on the roof to watch.

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